Cloud could represent data centre majority by 2014: Cisco study

CloudsCisco Systems’ first-ever Global Cloud Index study labels cloud computing traffic “the fastest growing component of data centre traffic,” and predicts that the amount of traffic flowing to and from private and public cloud services will grow 12-fold over the next four years, reaching 1.6 zettabytes of data annually by 2015.

According to Cisco, that represents 66 per cent compound annual growth rate over today’s 130 exabytes of cloud traffic currently.

Over the same time Cisco expects overall data centre traffic to grow 4-fold at a 33 per cent CAGR, topping out at 4.8 zettabytes by 2015.

“Cloud is becoming a critical element for the future of information technology and delivery of video and content,” Cisco noted in a statement discussing the findings.

If those results play out, Cisco posits that in 2014, more than half – 51 per cent – of all data centre workloads will be running in a cloud environments, making “traditional” data centre infrastructure the minority of all machines running in data centres. In 2010, only 21 per cent of workloads are done in a cloud-based data centre, the survey notes.

Growth rate for overall data centre workloads from 2010 to 2015 will be about 2.7-fold, while Cisco believes cloud workloads will grow seven-fold as cloud becomes the norm.

“Cloud and data center traffic is exploding, driven by user demand to access volumes of content on the devices of their choice,” said Suraj Shetty, vice president of product and solutions marketing at Cisco, in a statement announcing the Index. “The result: greater data center virtualization and relevance of the network for cloud applications and the need to make sense of a dynamically evolving situation.”

The company’s estimates show that by 2015, 76 per cent of all data centre traffic will remain within the confines of the data centre “as workloads migrate between various virtual machine and background tasks take place.” Only 17 per cent total traffic generated in the data centre will go to the end user, with the remaining seven per cent of total traffic will travel between data centres.

The following infographic (courtesy Cisco Systems) offers a full rundown of the findings of the Global Cloud Index.